A trial of public drinking in Britain has been given the green light by Health Minister Andrew Lansley.
The Government will allow drinking at home for the first time in 2021.
Drinks will only be sold in pubs and restaurants.
The trial will be led by the Beverage Advisory Council, which was set up by the government to assess how the legal drinking age in England and Wales should be.
Drinking in pubs is currently allowed only in the city and country.
“We’ve taken the step now to allow a trial to be held in the UK, which will allow people to get a taste of the alcohol, the flavour and the feeling of it, without any barriers to entry,” Mr Lansley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“There are already around 3,000 pubs in the country.”
We have some of the most attractive locations in the world for drinking, so we are pleased that this trial will allow pubs to get some taste of this alcohol and have a go.
“In the coming months we will have a clearer picture of the impact of the trial on the health of our young people, so it is important that we take the right steps.”
Mr Lansleys speech was also welcomed by Conservative Party leader Philip Hammond.
“It is a positive step to see a trial in the next few months, but it will take some time to see whether the results are positive,” he said.
“This trial will help us better understand how best to protect the health and wellbeing of the millions of young people in the British population.”
The Government has already set out a strategy for public health and drinking to tackle the problem of alcohol misuse and its effects on society.
“This will help to identify the best ways to deal with the problem.”
I believe that public health is a public good and that public support for the alcohol industry is vital to ensuring the best possible outcome for those who are struggling with drinking.
“A previous trial in England had been held but the Government is now confident of its effectiveness.
The first trial will take place from April to July.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will also be involved.
The public will be allowed to drink up to one drink per day.
The trials are funded by a £100 million package of spending cuts.
Drinkers who do not wish to drink at home can also opt for an alternative drink at a licensed establishment.